Our nasal passages have tiny hairs and mucus-producing glands to trap dust and other floating matter, keeping it out of our lungs. Because babies have smaller nasal passages than adults, they tend to be clogged easily with mucus or boogers. It’s pretty common
for babies to always have stuff in their nose, especially if they are exposed to air irritants like tobacco, cooking smoke, heavy perfumes, or other cleaning products that could irritate nasal passages.
Unlike adults, babies can only breathe through their noses and not through their mouths, not until they learn how to eventually.
So when their noses are stuffed with boogers, it will be hard for them to breathe. In situations like this, you can use saline nose drops or spray to loosen the mucus.
You may also use a bulb syringe to clear out your baby’s nose.
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Factors why baby’s nose is stuffed with mucus or booger
- Dry air – This can be because of using your home’s heating system or simply living in an arid climate. Low humidity can dry out and irritate nasal passages in babies and adults.
- Changes in weather – Cold weather mean a drop in temperature, which brings low humidity and dry air, and as mentioned above, this could dry out and irritate nasal passages.
- Air irritants – You would think it only includes tobacco or fumes from household cleaning products, paint, or varnish, but cooking smoke, heavy perfumes, and room aromatherapy diffusers can also irritate your baby’s nasal passages.
- Viral infection – This is much more common than a bacterial one, with viral sinusitis. This virus infects the lining of your facial and nasal cavities, infections such as colds, flu, or sinusitis are some of the most common.
- Allergies – These are when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, pet dander, or food that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people and are frequent causes of nasal congestion and runny nose.
Ways to ease nose congestion
- Warm baths – The gentle steam from the warm water during bath time can help soften the mucus or booger in your baby’s nose to remove it easier.
- Saline drops – A few drops in both nostrils can also help soften and loosen the mucus in their nose, and if you’re lucky enough, they might sneeze after and release the mucus or booger altogether.
- Nasal bulb – If the mucus is getting in the way of your baby’s breathing and is blocking your baby’s air pathway and they are not sneezing on their own, it’s probably time to give them some extra help using nasal bulb syringes or nasal aspirators by adding some force for the mucus to be released.
- Humidifier – This helps moisturize and soothe irritated nasal passages. But all year round, this extra humidity can help your newborn get better sleep, too! The added moisture serves as a natural nasal lubricant and decongestant, helping clear your baby’s nasal passages.
- Air purifier – The air inside your home can often be more polluted than outside air. There are various sources of this indoor pollution like indoor pets, mold, cooking equipment, volatile organic compounds, and cleaning chemicals. Purified air can lessen your baby’s risk of asthma and protects them from airborne allergies and a stuffy nose.
When to call the doctor?
Occasionally having mucus or boogers in their nose doesn’t usually point to any serious problem unless it happens often. It could mean your baby has cold or other health problems.
Talk to your local healthcare provider if your baby has any of the following:
- Trouble breathing – This is one of the most common concerns that come to mind after discovering that your baby’s nose is clogged with boogers because they only breathe through their nose, unlike adults who would instinctively breathe through their mouth.
- Sneezes often – This might also come with puffy eyes if they are allergic to something they inhaled. This could mean they are having difficulties breathing too.
- Decreased appetite – Your baby’s diet is a big part of their overall development, especially for the first few years of their life. That is why it is vital that they eat enough nutritious food daily to sustain their growth and strengthen their immune system.
- Low energy – Your baby’s energy is usually an indication if they are not feeling so well. Other babies even sleep longer or more often than usual if they are not feeling well. It is our body’s way to try and heal or fight the bacteria or viruses in our system.
How do you clean a newborn’s nose?
Wipe gently around each nostril to get rid of mucus. It’s best not to put anything inside your baby’s nostrils unless necessary.
This can hurt the lining of the nose and cause bleeding.
Can babies suffocate from boogers?
Unlike adults, babies breathe only through their noses and do not (yet) use their mouths.
They will learn to do so eventually, but until they do, you need to keep an eye on your baby’s breathing and make sure that their nasal passages are not congested.
It is easy to get frustrated and concerned if your baby’s nose is always stuffed with mucus or booger, especially knowing that they don’t know how to breathe through their mouths just yet, and it’s completely understandable.
After, we want our babies to always be healthy and happy.
If you feel like it is more than just a stuffy nose problem, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and get their professional advice for your baby’s health.